Update: Looks like eBay got back to @Vashetti via Twitter today.There might actually be some positive news regarding this after all. I’ll definitely stay on top of this story.


As someone who used to sell electronics on eBay, mainly video cards and gaming consoles, I’ve had my fair share of issues. Mainly from people who would receive my items in perfect condition, only for them to scam me by saying that the items were either dead, defective or they never received it. It was only after I had gotten scammed out of a four hundred dollar video card, that I stopped selling high item dollar items on the service. The sad realization is that Ebay doesn’t give a damn about the sellers, and will take the buyers word, regardless of whatever proof you have to discredit them. I found that out and now only deal with local buyers or via other internet-based means.

Sadly, another person is finding this out the hard way, during this Holiday season. A user who goes by the name of Vashetti, on the popular gaming web forum, NeoGAF, is going through the same issue. Earlier this month, Vashetti, sold a PlayStation 4 on eBay to help pay for their eventual PlayStation 4 Pro upgrade. According to Vashetti, the PS4 that was sold was in perfect shape and was able to go online. It was later sold on Ebay and that should have been a done deal. Only, it wasn’t.

The person who purchased the console had reported to Ebay and Vashetti that the PS4 was banned for online play. Since they couldn’t play online, they wanted A refund of the console. Vashetti, was in disbelief as they had used the system to play via PSN for some time and was 100% sure that wasn’t the case. Vashetti quickly got the impression that the person was clearly trying to scam them and had a banned PS4, that they planned on sending back to Vashetti instead. The Ebay equivalent to the “Old Switcheroo”, where you buy someone else’s item, swap it with your own and cry that it doesn’t work.

The console is banned online so it is partly working which is in turn no use to me. I would like a full refund

Frantically looking for help, as this was possibly going to be a huge loss of profit, not to mention the fact they could receive either a banned PlayStation 4 or worse – A dead on, Vashetti turned to Sony. It was then that a sliver of hope was found, as Sony was able to confirm that the person who received the PlayStation 4 was indeed able to use it online.

Below is the transaction between Sony and Vasheeti.

Armed with this new info, Vashetti then decided to update the buyer with it. I’m not sure I would have let the buyer know what I found out, but definitely Ebay. Hell, I would have emailed Ebay, as well as their and anyone in upper management. If I had the proof, why wouldn’t I or you for that matter.

The console is not banned, I used it and it was working perfectly up until the time I shipped it, I believe you’re lying and trying to scam me.

I have contacted Sony’s direct support, and they have confirmed to me that the console and serial number are not banned, and that you have in fact been online and used the console with no issue — which you can see in the screenshots attached. As you have not responded to both of my messages so far, I’m sure you’re perfectly aware of the scam you are trying to enact.

So here is what I’ll do, since I personally verified before shipping it that it was in perfect working condition, as this was my console used on a daily basis. You can either accept you’ve made an illegitimate claim, back down and cancel your request for a refund, and we’ll forgive and forget.

Or, you can send me the console. Should you choose to go down this route, and you return a console that has a different serial number or has been tampered with, I will report you to eBay, Paypal, and the police for mail fraud. I have your name and address and mail fraud is a crime. Trust me, you don’t want to go down that road for a mere £160. If everything is indeed as you claim, then your refund will be processed once my original console is returned 100% in the condition I sent it in and with the issues you described. Otherwise, legal action will be taken. Thank you for your time, and I hope you make the right decision.

This proof should have invalidated the buyer’s claims and forced Ebay to close out this request, right? However, it doesn’t look like Ebay took the proof that was provided and has decided to rule in the buyer’s favor.  This is typically the action that happens nearly 95% of the time. While it’s not unheard of with Ebay siding with a seller, those instances are few and far in between.

“Dear vashetti,

We’re writing to let you know that we’ve reviewed the details of this case and reached a final decision. We’ve asked the buyer to return the item to you for a full refund.

This case has been decided in the buyer’s favour.

The buyer has been asked to return the item to you. Once tracking shows the item has been delivered back to you, the buyer will be issued with a refund. If the buyer uses an eBay postage label to return the item, you will be required to pay the postage and will see this charge on your invoice.”

To make matters worse, the buyer decided to taunt Vashetti as they know that not only do they have a working console, but will end up with the entire refund amount as well.

“Have my address haha mail fraud your sick in the head. I had I wrote to you first and replied haha. Your a idiot who clearly doesn’t no shit. Want to act clever and tell me you know my address. Well when i have to send the console back il will have your address clever little man haha hope the dead guys really dead. Wasnt that you excuse for sending a week after payment. I paid for w working days delivery not a week”

“Cant not sort things out with this person have spent hours on the phome to network provider telling me its not them and that somy have banned it. Im using mu internet now to write to you so clear its not my internet thats not working have taken to a shop had been told it been banned online and i can eiter buy a new one or oay tjem to put i new mother borad and stuff in so it will be reconosed as a different console. I havent done and have had to go buy a new one”

If I was Veshetti, being pissed would be an understatement. I’m being told that I’m going to be without my item that I sold, as well as the money. Not to mention that if this isn’t the buyers first scam, they likely know how to run these things. Ever hear of someone getting sent one thing only for it to turn out to be a box of wood or bricks? There’s no way for the delivery service to tell what is in the return package, they don’t x-ray them. So it could be 100% possible that this scam could turn out to be worse than what it is. 

What hurts here is that eBay has been getting worse with every passing year. Customer support that never fully reads emails and unwarranted complaints are just the tip of the iceberg there, which is why more and more services are taking advantage of it. There are more services that are similar to eBay popping up all the time. Even Amazon and Bestbuy now take trade-ins toward purchasing new gaming items. At least those are a bit more personal and you’re dealing with the company directly, instead of someone who could possible scam you out of your loot. In this instance, it looks like the seller is on the losing end here, which definitely isn’t the end of the story I’d wished for. I was hoping for eBay to step in and look at the entire issue, instead of just assuming this is a cut and dry solution. It doesn’t seem to be what’s happening here, however.

Hopefully, somehow this gets resolved in a matter that results in Vashetti getting their original PlayStation 4, that eBay gets wind of this and start paying attention to their cases more closely. Scams like this happen all the time, all too often for a service that encourages people to sell on it. With no protection from scams, who the heck would want to sell on eBay ? Definitely not myself, nor the thousands of other people that were already scammed – just do a Google search and see for yourself.

And if you still want to sell your higher priced goods on eBay, well just hope for the best. I’d say be careful, yet as we all see, that’s out of our hands.

About The Author

Keith Mitchell
Editor-in-chief and all-around good guy!

Keith Mitchell is the Founder and Editor in Chief of The Outerhaven. A grizzled IT professional during the day, but a passionate lover of video games after his 9-5 grid. Loves playing the Dark Souls series and has been gaming since he was 6 years old. He's 40+ now, that old guy that he is.